Upon scrolling endlessly on the app, I stumbled across this video of a user who ordered the Iconsign Official Lash Lift Kit on Amazon in an attempt to perform the treatment on themselves. The lash lift appears to be a success in the end, but I was curious to know if it was safe to do yourself. So, naturally, I reached out to the experts.
With social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines in order, regularly scheduled beauty appointments are (temporarily) a thing of the past. You can’t get a haircut, your nails may look rough, and your roots may be screaming for some colour, but life does go on. And if these are the most of your problems these days, count yourself blessed. But even if you get the itch to do your own beauty treatments, we beg: exercise some discretion. Some things should be left to the professionals and that includes lash lifts.
Lash lifts are like a perm for your lashes. Typically, the process goes like this: You go to a certified lash technician’s salon and lie down on a bed with your eyes shut. A silicone pad that doubles as a guard and “curling rod” is affixed to your upper eyelid with a gentle adhesive so it stays put. The sloped shape of the guard serves as a foundation to give your lashes a curve once they’re slathered in perming lotion. The length of your lashes is what determines which size silicone shield the technician will choose for you. Once everything is set up and ready, your lashes are brushed back to lay against the curve of the shield, awaiting the curling chemicals. Sounds complicated, right? So much so that it’s something you probably wouldn’t want to try at home? In our world, yes. In the world of, sadly, no.
According to cosmetic chemist Ginger King, the Icon Sign Offical Lift Kit contains ingredients like propylene glycol and methylparaben that are allowed to be used in cosmetics, but they are not ideal to use on your eyes because they can cause irritation. Meaning if you mess up with an at-home kit and accidentally get the formula in your eyes, you could be in some trouble. And right about now, A&E is the last place you should be – especially over a lash-lift gone wrong.
Dermatologist Mona Gohara backs this up, explaining: “First and foremost, at this time, we should be minimising the number of times we touch the face,” she told Allure. “Eyelids are so sensitive and the skin is so thin that the barrier can be easily compromised, leaving it vulnerable to irritation or infection. In the worst-case scenario, you could potentially damage your eyesight. This kind of product [should] be used under the supervision of a professional.”
Those who do lash lifts for a living agree. According to New York-based licensed aesthetician Geena Gardalena, who is certified in Yumi Lashes (a keratin lash lift) application, says that in professional kits, the main ingredient is keratin, which according to King, is a protein that helps nourish the lash while it is being held upward so it can get the desired lift.
Gardalena highly recommends not trying this at home. “Technicians that are skilled in performing this service undergo months and months of training before they are certified to be able to lift lashes in the most sanitised and safe way,” she says. “Any little misstep in the process can damage lashes and even sight.”
Technicians have access to the best products you need to perform the technique. They also have the expertise to execute the service properly. The kits you can purchase online sometimes have harsh chemicals that aren’t approved by the proper medical boards, so unless you’re well-versed, you never really know what you are buying and using.
These days, as long as you have your health, count your blessings. In-salon services should wait until an all-clear has been given to open salons and studios. Until then, stay at home, wash your hands, and make good decisions.